Carcoar DamYear-round water sports and fishing

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Visit the Dam

Carcoar Dam is a popular inland sport and recreation destination in Central West NSW, offering year-round attractions for water sports and fishing enthusiasts, nature lovers, campers and picnickers. Free camping is available on the lake foreshores. The main purpose of the dam is to supply irrigation, stock and household needs in the Belubula Valley. The dam features an unusual thin concrete wall that is curved from side to side and also from top to bottom in a double parabolic arch.

Look out points

Dam wall

Walk or drive across the dam wall for panoramic views of the lake and countryside. The concrete wall is 187 metres long and 52 metres high.

Lake foreshores

There are many vantage points around the lake with views of the water and rolling countryside.

Things to do

  • Camp
  • Water sports
  • Fishing

Opening hours

Dam grounds

Open 24 hours a day, all year round. Entry is free. Blayney Visitor information Centre 02 6368 3534.


Carcoar Dam is about 55 kilometres south-west of Bathurst and 6 kilometres east of Carcoar in Central West NSW. Carcoar is about 260 kilometres west of Sydney via the Great Western and Mid Western highways.


  • Camping
  • Picnic areas
  • Toilets
  • Fishing
  • Shower facilities
  • Boat ramps
  • Water sports
  • Bushwalking



Restrictions are in place to protect our water supply and ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe visit - with penalties up to $44,000 applying:


Recreation Areas at WaterNSW dams will be closed on ALL Total Fire Ban days.

The Carcoar Dam Experience

Things to see and do

1. Camp

Camping is available for free on the lake foreshores. There are unpowered sites for caravans and camping. An amenities block has flush toilets and cold showers. There are picnic tables and electric barbecues.)

2. Water sports

The lake is a popular spot for water sports including skiing, jet skis, sailing and canoeing. The water is very cold and not suitable for swimming. A boat ramp is located about one kilometre north of the dam wall at the Carcoar Dam Sailing Club. The club sails on Sundays during warmer months.

3. Fishing

Carcoar Dam is stocked with Murray cod, golden perch (yellow belly), silver perch and trout. Redfin is the most common catch.

Facts & History

Carcoar Dam is situated on the Belubula River about 6 kilometres upstream of Carcoar in Central West NSW. The dam is about 260 kilometres west of Sydney.

The dam has a capacity of 35,800 megalitres, making it one of the smaller NSW water storages. The dam has an unusual double parabolic arch concrete wall.

Carcoar Dam is named after nearby Carcoar, the third oldest inland town in NSW.

Why the dam was built

Carcoar Dam was built to provide a reliable supply of water for irrigation in the Belubula Valley and to meet downstream stock and domestic needs.

Lucerne is the main crop supported by irrigation. Pastures for sheep and cattle and cereal crops such as wheat are also cultivated. Vegetables are grown along the river.

The dam’s small 230 square kilometre catchment is largely farming country in the Belubula River valley south of Blayney.

How the dam was built

Carcoar Dam features an unusual thin concrete wall that is curved from side to side and also from top to bottom in a double parabolic arch.

Massive concrete supports at each end strengthen the thin concrete wall against the weight of the water in the dam. The wall is 187 metres long and 52 metres high.

A spillway runs along the entire length of the arch so when the water level rises it simply flows over the top. A road runs above the spillway.

Construction began in 1969 and finished in 1970.

Dam Summary

Metres High
Length: 187 metres
35,800 ml total operating capacity
Size of lake:
4 km 2
Catchment: 230 square kilometres

Dam Wall

Size Measurement
Length 187m
Thickness of base m
Width of central spillway m
Concrete mass t
Width of auxillary spillway m
Length of auxillary spillway m

Lake and Catchment

Size Measurement
Area 4km2
Length of lake km
Length of foreshores km
Maximum depth of reservoir m
Catchment area 230km2
Annual average rainfall mm


Size Measurement
Diameter mm
Length km each
Capacity ML per day


In consultation with our stakeholders and the community we review and update these notifications.

To receive EWN notifications below please register your details with us.

To see all past archived notifications, please visit all dam notifications.

Dam safety notifications

Alerts will be issued in the following unlikely events:

  • When there is a reasonable possibility of dam failure.
  • State Emergency Service (SES) require advance public warning to evacuate if such a failure may occur.

Amber alert

  • Trigger - Storage level has reached Design Flood Level.
  • Notification - You are advised to move to higher ground and if necessary evacuate.

Red alert

  • Trigger - Storage level has reached roadway crest level.
  • Notification - Residents are advised to evacuate to their designated flood assembly points.

Flood notifications

Flood notifications indicate the dam is releasing controlled or uncontrolled flows, likely to cause downstream flooding. 

Flood operations

  • Trigger - Spillway flows (uncontrolled*) over 1,000 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - Flows of XX,000 megalitres per day are being passed.

High regulated release notifications

High regulated releases are when our operations may impact landholders immediately downstream or we are releasing higher than normal flows.

Normal operations

  • Range - 0 to 1,000 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - No notifications in this range after first notification (below).

Increased flows

  • Trigger - When flow increases above 1000 megalitres per day.
  • Notification - Releases are planned to increase from XX,000 megalitres per day (ML/day) to YY,000 ML/day at 00:00 on DD/MM/YY.

More information

Bureau of MeteorologyWeather forecasts and warningsBOMvaries by region
NSW Algae HotlineAlgal alert details and algae levelsDPI Water1800 999 457
NSW State Emergency ServiceFlood or severe weather warnings/adviceNSW SES132 500
NSW Water InformationStorage levels and river heightsWater infoN/A
Water NSWTo view or edit your registration detailsEWN1300 662 077
To provide feedback on our EWNFeedback1300 662 077
Tuesday 1 December
2,455,727 ML
2,581,850 ML
11,169 ML
1,596 ML
-13,774 ML
Tuesday 1 December
Carcoar Dam
Tuesday 01 December